United Nations suspends Russia’s membership in the Human Rights Council

(CNN) — The United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council during a meeting on Thursday. The result of the vote was 93 in favor and 24 against, while 58 abstained.

In the draft resolution, which was read by CNN, the General Assembly said it would suspend “the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council who commits serious and systematic violations of human rights.”

The document added that the council was “deeply concerned” by reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” and “violations of international humanitarian law” committed by the Russian Federation during the invasion of Ukraine.

A two-thirds vote of the General Assembly was needed to withdraw Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. In accordance with the resolution, the vote suspends the rights to membership in the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation. It is also decided to review the matter, as appropriate.

Russia’s actions have no limits.

Before the vote, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Kislitsya, called on all UN member states to support the decision to suspend Russia from the council.

“The world has reached a critical juncture. We are witnessing our cruise ship passing through a treacherous mist towards the deadly icebergs. It might seem that we should have called it the Titanic instead of the HRC… We need to take action today to prevent the board from sinking,” Kyslytsya said. .

He added that Russia’s actions in Ukraine “would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Although he noted that the vote to suspend a country’s membership in the Human Rights Council is a “rare and unusual measure”, he stressed that “Russia’s actions have no limits.”

Russia asked the United Nations to vote against

In response, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Gennady Kuzmin, called on member states to reject the resolution, saying it would set a “dangerous precedent”.

“Today is neither the right time nor the right place for theatre, nor for such a highly theatrical performance as the one given by Ukraine. In fact, the draft resolution we are looking at today has nothing to do with the real human rights situation,” Kuzmin said.

The Russian delegate argued that the vote to suspend Russia’s membership of the Human Rights Council was “an attempt by the United States to maintain its dominant position and complete control in order to continue its colonial attempt on human rights in international relations.”

The United States has defended Russia’s suspension from the United Nations Human Rights Council

The US ambassador to the United Nations defended Russia’s suspension of the Human Rights Council before the UN Security Council on Tuesday, something she and other UN member states have pushed for.

“Russia should not have a position of power in a body whose aim, and primary objective, is to promote respect for human rights. It is not only the height of hypocrisy, it is dangerous,” said Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield.

“Every day we see more and more lack of respect for human rights in Russia,” he stressed.

In the end, he said, “Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council damages the credibility of the Council. It undermines the entire United Nations. This is just a mistake.”

‘clear message’

Louis Charbonneau, the United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that Russia’s suspension sends a “crystal clear message” that they “have no interest” in the council.

“The General Assembly has sent a crystal clear message to Russia’s leaders that a government whose army routinely commits horrific human rights violations has nothing to do with the UN Human Rights Council,” Charbonneau said. “Bosha’s horrific photos shocked people around the world. Victims and their families deserve to be held accountable. UN and ICC investigators must bring justice at the negotiating table by moving quickly to collect and preserve evidence.” war crimes.”

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